Final March- Rome

By 2:39 PM , , , ,

Topdeck Days 7 & 8

And from Orievto we set off to our final destination in this Euro trip- Rome. We got to our accommodations late afternoon, and we were in love. It was nothing fancy, by any means, but little cabins along a strip; each with its own little outdoor sitting area. I think since it was the end of the trip for some of us(the majority of the tour were continuing on- the March on Rome tour forms the beginning part of the Winter Spirit tour- a 26 day tour) we were feeling a little sentimental and loved the neighbourhood vibe of the place. Plus, it was the first time in the tour that we only had to share a room with one other person. In addition to that we met some new people that were joining in on the tour from Rome (our replacements, we joked). After we settled in we caught a bus and the metro into the heart of Rome for our walking tour. We were taken to all the big sites such as the Trevi Fountain and Colosseum. The Trevi Fountain was pretty interesting with all its different legends. We learnt that throwing one coin into the fountain meant returning to rome, two for finding love in rome and three for getting married. So we located some Swiss Francs from our bags and threw them in (How many? I'm not telling). Another legend is drinking the water restores your virginity, however, unlike what some of the tour people did you aren't supposed just lap up the water from anywhere but there is a tap somewhere.

I like that Topdeck gives us these tours at the beginning of each country, so we get to see all the big sights and get an idea of what places we would like to explore more in our free time. After the tour a lot of us hit the supermarket located across from where we were staying for supplies (read: junk food and drinks). At this point of the tour a lot of people were beginning to get sick/ were pretty tired from the days and nights before so it wasn't a big party night tonight. In fact, we had a cosy night in watching Hostel, all huddled in one of the rooms. Hostel, by the way, is a crappy movie and ended up just being background noise whilst we talked.

The next morning started off with our optional tour of the Vatican and St Peters Square. It was led by a bubbly American lady, she had a lot of interesting anecdotes. I particularly enjoyed her telling us about the different theories she has heard in regards to what is depicted in the Creation of Adam by Michelangelo (some theories include heart and womb). I personally think it looked like a heart.

After the tour we were left to our own devices. The day was a little messy, it was the first day that didn't include dinner so we were literally left to do whatever until breakfast the next day. This was also the first time during my trip that not being able to contact someone so easily as sending a text was really frustrating. We started the day separated from the friends who had decided not to go on the Vatican tour and kept loosing members of our group throughout the course of the day and had to rely on chance if saw them again. I think this was mostly annoying because it was the last day so I wanted to make the most of time left with the people I had just become so close with. Other than that annoyance it was a good day.

The people we were with after the tour were all starving so we went on a search for food. We were pestered by so many people thrusting their flyers in our faces trying to get us to come to their restaurants. A lot of us were hesitant about going to one of those places and wanted something more authentic. We finally found somewhere. For my entrée I tried one of those stuffed flower blossoms depicted in one of the food porn scenes in Eat, Pray, Love. It was nice but no where nice as it was depicted in the movie. For my main I had a gnocci.

Full of food we headed to the Colosseum. One of the guys in our group found some lady selling tickets to a tour, some of us were a little hesitant considering how we had been told so much about being careful about being scammed and such in Rome. While we hesitated the guy had already agreed and was paying her so we all just threw our caution to the wind too. Luckily, the lady was legit and there was an actual tour. The tour started with photos in front of the Colosseum with a man dressed as a warrier and then around the actual Colosseum itself. I find that with all these old relics its difficult for me to comprehend that all that history happened where I am standing, it always remains somewhat surreal. The second section of the tour, which was of Palantine Hill and surrounding, was led by a different guy. This guy was awesome, purely for his speaking voice. The best way to describe it as being like that American movie trailer voiceover that says "Coming this Summer to a cinema near you". Actually, I should give him more credit- the information was also interesting and not just a boring history lesson.

After the tour we ran into some more Topdeck people, who like us where on a search for coffee so we joined them. However, somewhere along the journey we lost the majority of the group and it ended up being  just the girls so we decided to treat ourselves to an indulgent afternoon tea. After stuffing ourselves with desserts and hot drinks we went to meet up with a couple from Perth that were also on our tour for dinner (although we all agreed we probably couldn't eat a thing, definately not more than a salad).

Along the way we noticed a lot of commotion, yelling, chanting and police every where. We cautiously went closer to see what was happenening but couldn't really see anything past all the barricades but could hear hundreds of people yelling and smoke bombs being set off. We tried to ask the police what was happening but none appeared to understand English. We were pretty excited, which probably wasn't the right emotion to be feeling but it was an interesting experience. We later found out it was nothing scary but a taxi driver strike.

We eventually met up the couple and discovered they were with the Victorian sisters who we hadn't been able to catch up with all day so that was a nice surprise. This couple were definately some of the most informed pepole on the trip and were well researched on the best places to eat, shop, see etc so we were in good hands. Sadly, however, when we reached the restaurant they had chosen it was closed. We tried a couple of other places and it was so random but we were either too late or too early for dinner. We think a lot were just turned off by our large group. Finally, we found a place that was open and as we sat down realised it was a mutlicultural restaurant- trust us to pick one of the only non-Italian restaurants. Oh, and despite our earlier claims of being too full to eat all of us ordered a main- and finished it.

After dinner we headed back home, that night the bar at the accommodation was hosting a Toga Party but we were way too exhausted to go and opted for another quiet night in. When we got there we decided we would just walk by to see how it was going- and when we did we discovered new energy and after a short pre party back at the rooms joined the party. I'm glad we did it because we got reunited with all the friends we had lost throughout the course of the day. The toga party was really fun and nice last night.

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